Kimbolton School

Multi-gigabit bandwidth and resilience for over 1000 users

Quick facts

Independent, co-educational day and boarding school in Cambridgeshire.

  • Increasingly online user population, with high, and growing, expectations.
  • Expanding variety and volume of online content consumed.
  • A need for reliable, fast application performance at
    all times.
  • Unpredictable peaks in bandwidth demand (e.g. during lessons).

The customer

Set in rural Cambridgeshire, Kimbolton School is a co-educational day and boarding school, with 950 pupils, aged 4 to 18.

The need

The school approached Evolving Networks seeking improved internet connectivity to meet staff and pupils’ downloading requirements. Particularly during lessons, substantial downloads were often required. Connectivity needed to support large numbers of iPads, again for both pupils and staff.

The solution

Evolving Networks has been supplying a multi-line internet connection to Kimbolton School for over a decade. After several upgrades moving from 4x ADSL through to 9x FTTC, Evolving Networks now provides Kimbolton School with a 2x 1 Gbit/s leased line aggregated connection. As well as delivering a huge 2 Gbit/s of bandwidth capacity, this advanced internet connection keeps the school online even during ISP outages, and accelerates web browsing using in built QoS.

The methodology

Kimbolton School has been using Evolving Networks services since 2011, when they approached the company looking for solutions to improve resilience and bandwidth in their internet connection.

The initial solution was a 4x Bonded ADSL Max connection, delivering around 24 Mbit/s download, upgraded to ADSL 2+ in May 2012, when this technology became available.

Seamlessly increasing download bandwidth to 70mbps, the upgrade was delivered with no increase in charges, no change to the school’s IP address and no downtime.

In January 2014 the school upgraded again, this time to an 8x Bonded ADSL connection, taking download bandwidth to around 125 Mbit/s, to support increasing iPad usage.

In October 2015, the UK fibre broadband rollout came to Kimbolton, allowing a further upgrade to 8x FTTC aggregated to deliver in excess of 400 Mbit/s download and around 100 Mbit/s upload bandwidth.

In 2022, after continuing to increase usage amongst staff and pupils, it was decided to increase to 10x FTTC circuits. During the install, it was determined that the virtualised platform that Kimbolton uses to host a virtual EVX (the Evolving Networks appliance used to aggregate the links) had an upper limit of 10 interfaces.

While the EVX doesn’t have an upper limit, and Evolving Networks can aggregate 10 links and above, practical reasons determined that a lower number of higher bandwidth circuits was in need.

It was therefore decided to transform the connection again to 2x 1 Gbit/s leased lines, giving a huge increase in bandwidth while still retaining the same IP address, and keeping ISP independence and resilience by using two different carrier circuits.

The results

As Kimbolton School’s needs for bandwidth and resilience have grown, Evolving Networks aggregated connectivity solutions have kept pace, ensuring the school’s internet connection always has the capacity and capability to meet the expectations of large numbers of demanding users browsing the web, streaming live media and making downloads.

Today, substantial bandwidth supports the online working of all pupils and staff via iPads, as well as a variety of online learning environments.

Why Evolving Networks?

In common with schools everywhere, Kimbolton School is careful with its resources: a challenging budget had been set for its equally challenging requirements. Evolving Networks provided the required solution within the set budgetary limits, in the initial purchase and at each successive upgrade.

Only Evolving Networks delivers Network as a Service connections that can flex over time from multiple ADSLs through to multiple gigabit leased lines.  With no change in public IP, Kimbolton School was able to seamlessly upgrade their connection, exceeding the Department for Education guidelines on bandwidth and resilience – essential for schools everywhere.

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